Column: The power of one step

Children generally learn to walk within nine to 18 months from birth. Call me a horrible parent, but I think there's precious little we need to do to help them - other than cheer on their progress.

They learn to walk literally one step at a time, from rolling over, to crawling, to furniture walking, to standing and finally taking that very first step. They are quite fearless at that age!

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Some are slow starters, but once they start walking, the progress is absolutely exponential as they then learn the power of speech, the power of questions in the learning process and the power of asking for what they want, seemingly without end!

The desire to learn and progress is relentless but, tragically, it often slows down as we "mature."

Life's pressures mount as we start our careers, begin our own families and become consumed with getting ahead, while ironically beginning to drop the ball in planning the very success we are in pursuit of!

This does not need to happen! There is a better way and it is simple.

The secret lies in the spirit of every child we see learning to walk. We need to redevelop the habit of taking one step at a time.  It is far too overwhelming to try and take many steps at the same time. Our brains are not designed to multi-task! One step at a time is the only way we can build our capabilities and experience the confidence that takes us to the next level.

The step does not need to be perfect - it just needs to be taken. Often, making the decision to take the first step ends up being the first step!

What is one area where you are stuck right now and what is one simple step that would move you forward?

Here are some examples:

 Problem

 One Step

 My house is a disaster - I feel
 like an episode of "Hoarders."!

 Order a copy of Marie Kondo's book "The Life-
 Changing Magic of Tidying Up."

 I'm not getting enough
 exercise.

 Skip your coffee break and go for a walk instead.

 Our family doesn't
 communicate.

 Choose one dinner a week where everyone shares one   positive experience that week.

 I don't know if I can afford to
 retire.

 Schedule a meeting with your financial advisor.

 I'm not saving any money.

 Set up a simple Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and
 start saving $50
 per month. Everyone can afford $50 per month!

 My expenses are more than my
 income.

 All progress begins with telling the truth! Send an
 email to a few trusted friends or advisors and ask for
 their honest help. Don’t be surprised at the simple,
 truthful answers.

Go on now – decide what’s holding you back and take the most natural simple next step in realizing your dreams!


Richard Vetter is a Certified Financial Planner and owner of WealthSmart Inc. To find out more, visit www.wealthsmart.ca

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